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Old 5th January 2016, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default Multi-track guitar amp?

The idea comes from reading an article about multi-tracked guitar recordings. ("How to get a "fat" guitar sound")
Probably a "just for fun" idea.

I started wondering - Could a guitar tube amp circuit be designed to split the signal and process each side just a little bit differently?
I think the most obvious answer would be dual single-ended design with individual OT windings.

Is there another way? 18 watt Marshalls have a parallel configured V1. That seems to help just a tiny bit. What if you just kept paralleling preamp valves? Surely someone has attempted that?
What if (in push-pull configuration) you split the signal before the phase inverter and filtered (high-pass, low-pass, band-pass) just one side?

I wouldn't want a dramatic change but I'm still curious about anything that could make the guitar sound fuller without also introducing strange effects (like flanging).
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Old 5th January 2016, 12:47 PM   #2
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Easy as a pie and already done by many: split your signal and use many amps, in any combination that suits you.
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Old 5th January 2016, 01:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JMFahey View Post
Easy as a pie and already done by many: split your signal and use many amps, in any combination that suits you.
Guitar Center likes this post.

:-p

But seriously, I'm just being curious. I once read about an interesting single-ended amp with three different power tubes. It was called the Palmer Drei iirc. That's a pretty cool idea too. What makes it interesting to me is the all-in-one package.
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Old 5th January 2016, 07:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
... 18 watt Marshalls have a parallel configured V1. That seems to help just a tiny bit. What if you just kept paralleling preamp valves? Surely someone has attempted that?....
I do like paralleling triodes, to the extent that if I build a circuit that only needs two 12ax7s but have a chassis with slots for three, then I'll use parallel triodes for the first two stages. If you want to keep the same gain, you half the associated resistor values and double associated capacitor values. The Miller capacitance is doubled though, so you have to think carefully about grid stopper values. The noise level is reduced quite a bit compared to the equivalent-gain single triode stage. To me they do sound a bit 'warmer' but I'm not sure why that should be (except perhaps the Miller capacitance and the lower background noise).

Of course, if you follow the rules on grid leak you need to change the usual 1M at the input stage to 500k (when it has two 12ax7 triodes in parallel) which is still a reasonably high input impedance, but will load the guitar pickups more - again contributing to a 'warmer' sound!

Last edited by Malcolm Irving; 5th January 2016 at 07:40 PM. Reason: afterthought
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:40 PM   #5
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I once had a combo amp called the Ultraflex, made by the Audio Crafters Guild. It was also sold under the Magnatone name.

There was a single preamp with reverb and tremolo and the Ultraflex knob that split the signal to two different power amps in varying amounts. Both power amps used 7591 tubes for about 25 watts each. One power amp used a smallish OPT and fed a 10 inch open backed cabinet. The other amp had a bigger OPT and fed a 12 inch speaker in a complex closed back multi chambered enclosure.

I left the amp behind when I had to leave Florida on rather short notice, but I intend to build something like it eventually. It had a bluesy tone that could not be forgotten.

There is very little info on the amp, and I never could find a schematic for it anywhere.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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Roland made a stereo 'Cube'. It had amazing effects built in and could produce all sorts of stereo and chorus sounds. I don't know whether it is still made.
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Old 6th January 2016, 02:38 PM   #7
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@malcontent Irving.
Your after-thought is my oversight. I'm pretty sure I have 1M. I should change that.

@tubelab
That is exactly the sort of thing I'd love to know more about. It sounds like an awesome project.

@Jonsnell - and that's another interesting idea.

I'm not sure where this could go, but it seems worth thinking about.
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Old 6th January 2016, 11:46 PM   #8
teemuk is offline teemuk  Finland
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Line 6 Duoverb. Yamaha THR100D. Stereo amps in which you can basically assign an individual amp per each channel. I'm sure there are other similar setups.

If we go way, way back an ancient trick to get "fatter" tone with "vintage" -style dual channel amps was simply feeding input signal to both channels simultaneously.

Quote:
...once had a combo amp called the Ultraflex, made by the Audio Crafters Guild.
Those were early examples of "bi-amping" setup: Separate power amplifiers for lower and higher frequencies, crossover somewhere around mid-range. Decreases intermodulation distortion because due to separate amps distortion at low frequency band will not effect reproduction of higher frequency band, or vice versa.
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Old 7th January 2016, 09:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
.... @malcontent Irving....
Autocorrect I presume! But I do like it - I might start using it myself.

Malcolm Irving
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Old 7th January 2016, 12:38 PM   #10
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Lol. Sorry about that. It was autocorrect.
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